Despite Ceasefire Declaration Myanmar Army and Ethnic Alliance Clash in Kutkai

Civilians were kidnapped by Burmese soldiers in fighting in northern Shan State, Burma

Armed clashes between the Myanmar army and members of an ethnic military alliance continued in the hours after the alliance declared a one-month ceasefire on September 9th.  The ceasefire announcement followed weeks of heavy fighting in northern Shan State.

Clashes took place near Kutkai town on September 9th shortly after a declaration of a unilateral ceasefire from three members of the four-member Northern Alliance.   The Arakan Army, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army have all been involved in heavy fighting with the central government in northern Shan State since mid-August following an attack on Myanmar’s main military training school.   

According to locals in the area, the clashes broke out near Da Shi Hpang Wawm village in Kutkai Township.  “The Burma army and forces from three members of the Northern Alliance clashed near Da Shi Hpang Wawm village at around 12:00 noon. They exchanged gunfire and fought for an hour and a half,” a local resident told the Kachin News Group (KNG).

A joint statement issued by the three members of the Northern Alliance declared their intention to halt offensive activities in northern Shan state between September 9th and October 8th. The statement noted however that the groups reserved the right to fight back if government forces entered into their territory or attacked them.

Villages in Kutkai Township noted that a number of military vehicles came into Kutkai on Sept 7th.  Civilian transport and travel were halted between Mandalay and Muse on the national highway after the three members of the Northern Alliance attacked the Defence Services Academy (DSA) in Pyin Oo Lwin on August 15th.  The Mandalay to Muse route was re-opened again on September 4th.

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